NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Today at the Every Woman Every Child event hosted by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister Harper announced a $200 million commitment to the Global Financing Facility (GFF). David Morley, UNICEF Canada's President and CEO, was at the event and had the following response to this funding commitment:
"We are very encouraged by the Global Financing Facility's goal of universal registration of every pregnancy, every birth and every woman's, child's and adolescent's death by 2030 and working to ensure that these systems are self-financed by individual countries by 2030. These vital statistics are critical for programming effectively to save lives. Nearly 230 million children under the age of five have never been registered—which means that one third of all children under five in the world do not officially exist. They are invisible. Within its focus on child and maternal health, Canada has emphasized the importance of these vital statistics with $100 million of its pledge going to civil registration and vital statistics and should leverage its relationship with the GFF to keep this front and centre as a foundational element of preventing deaths.
We encourage the GFF, and Canada through its influence with the GFF, to ensure that funding goes to reaching the places in the world where children and mothers are still dying at alarming rates, where progress has been slow and risks backsliding. We know from the data on child and maternal deaths, the most vulnerable and hardest to reach are those children and mothers who are marginalized, in fragile states, fleeing conflict or so remote that they are not yet being reached with life-saving health services. No child is too far to save.
It's also critical that the GFF put an emphasis on saving the lives of newborns. Every year one million babies take their first and last breath on the day they are born. This preventable tragedy must be addressed. While great progress has been made in recent years to reduce the number of child deaths to 6.3 million each year, newborns are increasingly becoming a greater percentage of those who don't survive.
The GFF recognizes that there are many emerging economies in countries that are anticipated to become middle-income over the next decade, however, these countries still have vulnerable children and mothers who are at risk and need to be reached. All efforts, including the GFF, need to make sure to provide sustained support for them as they work to do the aid and development work of saving the lives of the most vulnerable children and mothers in their own backyards.
We're pleased that Canada is continuing to support new initiatives, such as the GFF, that are aimed at saving the lives of children and mothers. Canada's pledge of $200 million to this initiative today shows its continued commitment to saving the lives of children and mothers. Canada's commitment, along with those of the US and Norway, will help to kick start the GFF and could leverage further support from other donors."
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.
SOURCE: UNICEF Canada
For further information: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), [email protected]